It is a beautiful morning outside my house here in Sanford, FL; clear blue sky, not a cloud in the sky and comfortable 70F. I hear birds chirp friskily outside; hear thuds and hammering of final homes being completed in the subdivision. We could do with some rain however, the grass, although still lush green, look stressed out at places, even with twice a week sprinkler watering. Water in Florida is pricey; I learnt this the hard way. My first month’s bill last June was over US$1,200, giving me heart palpitations I thought was Israeel come knocking. But then, everything in Florida is pricy compared to Texas. That however, is another story.
I am on my laptop trying to bring alive a pretty female character in my novel but she stays elusive, like a stubborn, sly maiden convinced her suitor has not done enough justice to his wooing efforts. Just when an creative idea pops in my mind, my cell phone goes off. This early? The display flashes Gulam Chotaaro, my friend from Canada. Ever since we talked after forty years of separation, Gulam has been in regular contact. I have been trying to counsel him regarding his rebellious teenage son Sameer’s wandering ways and misuse of Muttah practices. But it is only nine in the morning here and seven where he lives in the West; this must be serious, so I brace myself for potential bad news.
Vipi Kisukaali...habaari akhee, hujaambo?
The tone is jovial; I relax my tensing nerves, although it is odd for him to be calling for a chat this early on a Saturday. We swap pleasantries; I ask about Sameer; Gulam’s voice sours, becomes instantly quarrelsome.
Do not ask me about that khabees; I ran him off from home after his latest girlfriend’s father came to my house and demanded we keep Sameer’s dirty Muzlim paws off his daughter or else. You know how these Russians are, don’t you? Their women can be stunningly beautiful but their men are ruthless; they go after their enemy’s crown jewels, chop them off! I hope that will teach Sameer a lesson, living as a paying guest somewhere, always on the lookout protecting his jewels, without home cooked food, but I doubt it. His mother cooks tons of food and sneaks them to him.
I feel queasy about anybody’s crown jewels being chopped off, but I also feel sorry for poor Gulam, my heart goes out to him; Sameer has been like a bone stuck in his fathers throat that refuses to budge. But it is not Sameer that Gulam is calling me about this morning; the matter is more spiritual than personal this time.
Have you seen a protest that some Muslim bozos have taken out in someplace UK? Gulam demands. I tell him there are protests by Muslims in the UK almost every day, which one is he referring to? Subeeri, he says, I am sending you the clip now, watch it, you on your computer, siyo? So I wait and then watch a five-minute YouTube clip of very unruly, impolite and downright nasty men in long beards and naqaab-clad women shout abuses at British police and the government, calling for their demise. They swear that “Muslims” will establish a Khaleefat domain over the UK, tell onlookers they will go to hell because they are “unbelievers” and a women protester abuses a bystander, calling her a whore for being dressed the way she is. The video, for me, is disgusting, unacceptable but I play the devils advocate nevertheless.
Well, Gulam, they seem to be British citizens, they have a right to voice their opinions... There is an audible catch of breath at the other end and then silence; I begin to think he has hung up on me, mad. He is mad all right. I cannot believe my ears, Kisukaali, you, uttering this garbage? You? They have a right to spew out this kind of garbage? You disappoint me, Kisukaali, really... I stop him.
Gulam, I agree what these people say is wrong, in action and spirit of Islam. Our Prophet (S) would certainly have not tolerated this behavior. But they and we live in a supposed democracy where this kind of protest is legal. As long as violence is not resorted to, they do have a right to voice their opinion.
You know what, Gulam almost shouts, we Muslims are the problem. Not happy in Gazza, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Bahrain, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi, Egypt... So we lie, cheat or beg to get a Green Card or permanent residence in the US, UK, Australia, Canada.... And when these countries, in their generosity, and stupidity sometimes do grant us the right, we rush in happily. Then something happens in our dudu filled heads; we blame them for everything - from being kafirs to whores. We forget we were unhappy back home amongst our filthy, corrupt, obese rulers, the murderers and brilliant thieves. Is this the logic that Islam teaches you, Kisukaali? Gulam is so mad, I can hear the venom in his voice and recoil at the saliva splatter that must be hitting the telephone mouthpiece. Bah! This is a total dichotomy of Islam.
I hear the slam of telephone and the line goes dead. Hmmm, dichotomy...I have heard this word before. I open my online dictionary.